An Introduction to Carnot Technology
8th November 2019
By Francis Lempp
At Carnot we believe that internal combustion engines still have a huge role to play in the future of sustainable powertrain technologies. The mitigation and solution of man made climate change has become a social necessity and an integral part of government and corporate policy. New legislation and rapidly evolving market conditions are opening up these traditionally late-adopting engine markets to a wide range of innovations, led by start-ups. The UK has legislated a net zero emissions target across all sectors by 2050. Currently this is not achievable with conventional engine or battery technology for Gensets, heavy goods vehicles or marine craft.
Modern combustion engines are notoriously inefficient and produce large amounts of CO2, but why is that and how has Carnot found a solution to this unsolved problem? Conventional engines are manufactured from metals which cannot withstand the high temperatures of combustion. Therefore an average of 30% of fuel energy is wasted by cooling systems. With key components manufactured from advanced ceramics able to withstand combustion temperatures, Carnot Gensets eliminate this waste. Predicted efficiencies will be double those of state-of the art ICEs, halving fuel costs and CO2 emissions.
“Isn’t Battery and Hydrogen fuel cells the technology of the future?“
A question we are commonly asked. Electric vehicles are indeed growing in urban cities around the world. However, there are still a variety of problems associated with electric vehicles, one of which is how and where the electricity is generated in the first place. Electric vehicles are simply shifting the problem from urban cities to rural areas, while increasing the strain on the grid. Another issue is the large amount of capital investment required to build the infrastructure needed to support the switch to electric.
These technologies have only just penetrated the passenger car market and are predicted to have only 4% share of the total global engine market by 2020. There are a number of applications which cannot be powered by batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. Battery storage has fundamental flaws in high power applications such as heavy haulage, marine, aerospace and agricultural. At present electric vehicle technology is a long way from finding a solution for all these applications. Hydrogen fuel cells also have significant disadvantages which make them unsuitable for high power applications.
Carnot is driven by achieving a sustainable future. To do this a variety of fuels and powertrains will be needed in the future, chosen for different needs on the basis of carbon emissions and energy efficiency. The Carnot Genset is designed to provide a sustainable solution for applications which have no production ready alternatives. We believe that innovation can be both profitable and ethical.